Former Olympic dressage rider Courtney King Dye and her husband Jason Dye celebrated the birth of their first child, a healthy baby girl, at 2:58 p.m. on Feb. 20. River Madison Dye weighed in at 8 lbs., 4 oz.
“No amount of gold medals could come close to matching this feeling. Pure contentment,” Courtney wrote in a post on her blog at CKDDressage.com.
The traumatic brain injury Courtney suffered in a fall in 2010 added several complications to her pregnancy and delivery. Because her sense of feeling had been compromised in certain parts of her body, Courtney wrote that it was difficult to know when her contractions had started. She and Jason headed to the hospital, and doctors confirmed that she was in fact going into labor—as luck would have it, early in the morning.
“The risk of seizures was our main concern, but the fact that I began first thing in the morning gave me a good chance to avoid that, as fatigue and lack of sleep greatly increase that risk,” Courtney explained.
She was unable to receive an epidural because of the placement of her Baclofen pump, which helps control her severe spasticity on her right side, but Courtney said she couldn’t fathom the idea of being put under full anesthesia and having a Caesarean-section performed.
“I’m thankful to have been awake not only for the amazing experience of seeing her enter the world,” she wrote, “but to have gotten to share the experience with my wonderful husband.
“All the nurses and doctors were amazed how quickly my delivery went for my first child. I expect that for my next ones I’ll just wake up in bed and there will be a baby,” she joked. “I’m just purely content in the now, as if it would last forever. I’m a loving person but I didn’t know this much love was possible.”